The Wonder Years
Do you remember the last time you were awestruck?
I mean mouth-dropping, eyes-straining, can't-utter-a-word, stuck-in-wonder awestruck.
It's one of the things I miss about my son being really little.
He still has the deep sense of joy and wonder, but when he was three it was all go, all. the. time. Everything was fantastic, new, and filled with awe: from tiny fiddler crabs crowding around the feet of mangroves to the stars peppering the night sky — it all created wonder.
And as I've gotten older, I feel I have to fight my natural inclinations to retain that wonder.
If we let our routines rule our hearts, those routines can deaden our wonder of the most Wonderful.
As adults, we have a lot more to balance and to track. Our yokes feel heavy. And in our ruts and routines, we forget to stick our head out the window and take in the wonder.
The same can happen to our wonder of God. If we let our routines rule our hearts, those routines can deaden our wonder of the most Wonderful.
Wonder in God's Wonderful Promises
Did you know Paul's opening lines (verses 3 through 14) in Ephesians are one long sentence in Greek. It's a single train of thought. 🤯
And in the middle of this section, he brings in the wonder...
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment —to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
(Ephesians 1:7-10 NIV)
It's easy to breeze past this one.
But pause, and wonder in what God has done and will do through Christ.
Wonder in what has happened
Through Christ you have...
- Total redemption through Christ — you've been bought back by a huge sum (the blood of Jesus).
- Complete forgiveness of sins — this word carries meanings like "freedom" and "deliverance."
- God's grace "lavished" on you.
- The full wisdom of God revealed to you through Jesus.
Now, reflect on what's been lavished upon you. Despite your failings and shortcomings, wonder in what Christ has done.
Wonder in what will happen
Paul ends this section with what will happen in the end, "when the times reach their fulfillment." He doesn't go into heavy detail (at least here), but he offers a brief detail...
to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
Paul is pointing you towards God's ultimate goal: The homecoming of heaven upon earth...
- where God's full presence will be with us
- where every tear will be wiped away
- where we'll experience a resurrection like Christ's
- and where death will be conquered once-and-for-all.
Soak in the wonder of what God has done for you and what He will do for you.
As we wander through Ephesians and reflect on what Christ has done for us, let us always keep humble, communal hearts. What God has done and will do is bigger than us.
There's so much pain in the world. We know Christ will make all things new in the end, but — in the meantime — we get to minister to the world...